First and foremost, RIP Heather Heyer, you did not deserve what you received. You deserved a life well lived, a life with your family, a life not ended by hate. For that I am sorry and I wish I could offer more than my thoughts and prayers, but for now that is all I have. I promise, I will do all I personally can to help spread love and not hate, to help others understand why this was unacceptable and to ensure you are never forgotten. Your father said you died doing what you loved, standing up for others and I will remember you anytime I take a stand.
I feel sick, I want to throw up. It is the most painful thing to see that this type of hate still exists and that enough people believe in it for a rally to even be started. The people of Charlottesville did not wake up thinking they had to fear for their lives, they did not wake up thinking that hate of that volume still existed and they absolutely did not wake up and ask for this to happen.
Men and woman neo-nazi’s who flooded the streets are the ones who should’ve been stopped. Yet police fairly calmly stood by and watched because that is their job, strange how at a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest their “job” all the sudden involved riot gear, pepper spray and aggression. Please do not pretend that this wasn’t an act of terrorism, please do not let this slide as just “freedom of speech”, no, this was an act of war. War against people of color, war against people who have helped to shape our lives, values and who have loved us even when we haven’t deserved it.
I am a very privileged person, I am a white middle-aged female who lives in Canada. I have a good job, a loving family and those are just some of the reasons why I can’t sit by and not say something about these events. A lot of times the people who haven’t experienced racism or hate are the ones who stay silent. I don’t know if its out of fear or ego but its something that really needs to change. One of the many reasons that stories such as this keep appearing is because the events are seen as an attack against one group, not against an entire nation. But I cannot stress this enough, violence against one is violence against all and it cannot continue to happen.
You cannot teach hate and expect love to come. We must not let hatred take over and I know that is hard, especially in moments like this. I recently was talking to an old friend about how we both tend to be kind people, which can lead to being taken advantage of and we both agreed that we would rather be those people then treat others like they didn’t matter or like they weren’t worth their own lives. I believe that there are more people in this world with love in their hearts then there are with hate in their hearts and I believe that love will always win no matter how hard some people try to make it lose.
When I say hate is taught, I’m referring also too Donald Trump, who is a poor excuse for a President. I apologize to all the Americans who did not vote for him and are now stuck living in this nightmare. To the LGTBQ community who got pushed 10 steps back because of this “man”, to the soldiers who were fighting for freedom and now are being home and told their not worth that same freedom. I’m not sure if you realized this, but if you look at the photos from the rally the young men with torches were dressed like their president, they were wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and they were not afraid for their lives because they think that the color of their skin means that they are worth more than anyone else because that is something DT has endorsed. If you are a white male, you are a God and that is not true, don’t let anyone think that is true.
In moments like these, when I’m sick to my stomach I search for hope. I found my hope in the pages and pages of people expressing their pain regarding this event, pages and pages of people sending their love and offering to help. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said “You came here today to hurt people, and you did hurt people, but my message is clear. We are stronger than you. You have made our commonwealth stronger. You will not succeed.” He is right, they cannot succeed and will not. I wish so much that no one lost their lives yesterday, that no one lost their lives to hate ever, but that is not reality, not yet. One day there will be a world where hate was a thing of the past, a dark, embarrassing thing of the past. Until that day I will not stay silent, I will not allow someone to treated terribly because they are “different” and I will fight hate with love until we win and we will win.
Please continue to love, please continue to be strong and please don’t stay silent. The worst thing we can do in a time like this is let other people divide us out of hate. I leave you with a quote that is bringing a lot of people together today, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite,” – Nelson Mandela
xx your gal, AL.